In Sunday’s (5/17) Boston Globe, David Weininger profiles Phoenix, “a new Boston-based chamber orchestra aimed at revolutionizing the encounter with orchestral music. ‘The number one thing standing between new audiences and loving classical music is the context it’s usually presented in,’ says its website. ‘Flight,’ Phoenix’s second concert, took place Friday at … a repurposed church in the South End. There was an almost defiantly relaxed vibe before it started. Orchestra members, young and casually dressed, milled around and chatted with concertgoers. At some point, a group of musicians walked causally to their stands—on the floor of the venue, not the stage—tuned up, and began a bracing performance of Heinrich Biber’s ‘Battalia à 10.’ All the hip atmospherics … would be mere window dressing if Phoenix weren’t able to back them up with high-level musicianship. Happily it did.” Works by Stravinsky, Mozart, and Judd Greenstein were performed; Matthew Szymansk conducted. “People tweeted—the concert had its own hashtag, #PhoenixFlight—and clapped enthusiastically between movements. They went to the bar and came back while the music was going.… Perhaps the best way to think of Phoenix is as a negotiation between past and present that tries to preserve the virtues of each.”

Posted May 18, 2015